Having a serious drug or alcohol addiction can turn your entire world upside down. You may find that you need the substance in order to function on a daily basis. Meanwhile, knowing that you have a terrible substance use disorder means that you have the tools at your disposal to get help once and for all. Rehab is the best option to get you back to your sober self.
One of the options available to you is medication-assisted treatment or MAT. This is a type of treatment that involves the use of certain drugs that can help you to overcome your substance use disorder. These medications can help you through your recovery, prevent an overdose and help you get back on your feet to sobriety and the life you led before your addiction took over. It’s important to know all the details of what MAT entails and how it can help you.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-assisted treatment – MAT for short – is a type of drug or alcohol rehab treatment that involves the use of medications for helping a person overcome their addiction. Typically, it’s combined with therapy sessions that teach behavioral responses and reactions to help curb substance use disorder. When certain medications are used to help a person’s addiction, they work by targeting their brain chemistry to block the euphoria they feel when abusing drugs or alcohol. This is a prime method of treatment for individuals who struggle with addiction to alcohol and opioids. It is also one of the best treatment options available to individuals who have suffered opioid overdoses.
MAT is best used to treat addictions to opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers. Using MAT and therapy together is highly effective at helping people to overcome their substance use disorders. The medications are aimed at helping a person not only overcome their addictions but can also help to aid in their recovery once the substance has been completely removed from their body during the detox process. MAT is a treatment option that must be adjusted based on each individual person. No two people struggling with substance use disorder are the same, which means that a treatment method that works for one person might not work for someone else. It must be customized to fit each person’s special needs.
What Medications are Used in Medication-Assisted Treatment?
There are various types of medications used in MAT. However, which ones are used depends on the person’s situation; the substance they have abused, the length of their addiction and how much they have used. The most common medications that are used in MAT include the following:
- Methadone: Methadone is an agonist against opioids and is commonly used in drug rehab treatment. It behaves similarly to heroin or painkillers by targeting receptors in the brain but doesn’t have the same effects as those substances. This helps to ease a person’s cravings for the substance and curbs addiction. Methadone is safe and effective at helping people to recover from their substance use disorder without damaging the internal organs.
- Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is a partial agonist drug, which allows it to target the receptors in the brain that react to opioids. It’s not as strong as methadone but helps a person curb their addictive cravings and mutes the symptoms of withdrawal. Often, the drug is used to treat people with milder, less severe addictions.
- Naltrexone: Another type of opioid antagonist, Naltrexone is helpful in treatment for addiction by blocking opioid receptors from activating in the brain. In turn, a person can find their cravings for the substance curbed. It can prevent that high euphoric feeling from drugs but doesn’t work to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. It’s administered through injections and can last for several weeks.
- Naloxone: Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that can block out the effects of opioid drugs. It’s also an effective treatment for an overdose. The medication is usually administered through an injection.
What are the Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment?
MAT can benefit people battling addiction in various ways. It can help to alleviate the effects of withdrawal during the detox process. Some withdrawal from certain substances can be severe, but they can be helped with medications. Medication treatment can also lower the number of deaths from drug abuse. It’s also effective at helping people stay in treatment longer and stop the cravings of addiction. MAT can be used to treat many substance use disorders. In particular, it can help to combat the opioid crisis. The treatment is supported by medical experts, mental health professionals and even the government at addressing the problem of addiction. Ready to get started? We can help. Call us at 833-497-3812.